An Orthodox Jewish school has lost a legal battle with the City of Evanston over their bid to open a new facility there. The group filed the lawsuit six years ago claiming religious discrimination, but Evanston aldermen said it came down to a declining property tax base.
This week the DuPage County Board is expected to vote on new rules about where places of worship can locate. The changes would allow houses of worship into all zoning districts by right, unlike before.
Communities are having a problem with vacant properties in this recession. They’re struggling to generate tax revenues, properties are deteriorating with neglect, and neighboring property values are plummeting. Most towns are scrambling to find new tenants for these buildings: businesses,
DuPage County has abandoned a bid to keep new places of assembly out of unincorporated residential neighborhoods. That's a major concession to those who feared new churches, mosques, and temples would be frozen out of the very communities they aim to serve.
DuPage County's zoning board has denied a second Muslim group its approval to build a mosque in as many months. The Muslim Educational Cultural Center of America, or MECCA, wants to tear down a house on five acres of unincorporated DuPage County, and build a new structure for worship.